More than 500 people gathered in downtown Orlando Tuesday evening for the 24th-annual Schwartz Tech Awards hosted by the Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) in partnership with the Orlando Tech Association and Florida High Tech Corridor Council.
The awards celebration, named after the late William C. Schwartz, an innovator within the field of optics and photonics, recognized companies and individuals for bright ideas, creative solutions, pioneering research and support for Orlando's booming technology industry.
This year, with a new format, the event provided a unique networking opportunity for business leaders and emerging tech leaders and was held as part of the inaugural Orlando Tech Week.
"With technology as our second-largest industry, the EDC has worked hard this past year to include more representation from the region's tech community on our board, and we have pursued strategic initiatives in digital media; modeling, simulation and training; and advanced manufacturing," said Rick Weddle, President & CEO of the Orlando EDC. "The tech industry in Orlando employs nearly 50,000 people with a $14 billion economic impact to the region."
Congratulations to all of this year's Schwartz Tech Awards winners:
Orange County Regional Innovator: Productivity Apex, Inc.
Seminole County Regional Innovator: CareSpotter
Lake County Regional Innovator: Electron Machine Corporation
Osceola County Regional Innovator: Photon-X
City of Orlando Regional Innovator: SPLYT
Florida High Tech Corridor Innovator: FAZ Technology
Academic Researcher of the Year: Dr. Sudipta Seal, University of Central Florida
Industry Researcher of the Year: Dr. Steven Smith, Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes
Diversity in Tech Award: Carlos Carbonell, Echo Interaction Group
Tech Investor of the Year: Allen Kupetz, venVelo
Tech Community Champion: Dr. Thomas O'Neal, University of Central Florida
View the full list of nominees on the Schwartz Tech Awards website.